Vail files paperwork to build PCMR-Canyons gondola |

Vail files paperwork to build PCMR-Canyons gondola

Vail Resorts has filed a highly anticipated application at City Hall seeking an approval for an ambitious set of upgrades at Park City Mountain Resort, including a gondola that would link PCMR and Canyons Resort into one property.

The Colorado firm earlier in December announced its intentions to build the gondola in 2015 well as make other improvements at PCMR and Canyons Resort. Vail Resorts acquired PCMR in the fall and operates Canyons Resort.

Vail Resorts wants Park City officials to amend an overall PCMR development plan that dates to 1997 and approve the permits needed for the upgrades themselves. The firm will also approach the County Courthouse for the approvals needed in Summit County.

The gondola is designed to ferry eight passengers per car between the base of the Silverlode lift at PCMR and the Flatiron lift at Canyons Resort. It will also have an unloading point atop Pine Cone Ridge. That point will provide access to Thaynes Canyon terrain at PCMR via a gate or the Iron Mountain-Dreamcatcher section at Canyons Resort through trails that will be built along Pine Cone Ridge.

Vail Resorts also wants to build a new Snow Hut restaurant at PCMR at the gondola terminal.

The application filed at City Hall will be put before the Park City Planning Commission. The planning manager, Kayla Sintz, said the Planning Commission will likely begin its discussions as early as February. She said she anticipates more than one Planning Commission hearing will be scheduled prior to the panel casting a vote. Staffers will begin their review of the application shortly after the holidays, Sintz said.

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The Summit County Planning Department said an application was expected imminently. Peter Barnes, the planning and zoning administrator, said the application will be put before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission as early as the middle of February or late in that month. The panel will hold at least one hearing prior to casting a vote.

Barnes said it does not appear the application will be controversial. He said, though, it will be more complicated than some others since the proposed gondola crosses the Park City boundary into unincorporated Summit County and since there is an overall approval that guides development at Canyons Resort.

Vail Resorts anticipates the upgrades planned in 2015 will top $50 million. In announcing the plans, the firm said they amount to "one of the most ambitious and impactful capital programs in U.S. ski industry history." They "will transform the guest experience at Park City Mountain Resort," Vail Resorts said.

The firm also announced the combined resort will operate under the Park City Mountain Resort moniker. The base area at Canyons Resort will be called Canyons at Park City once the properties are linked into one, Vail Resorts said.

"We are very appreciative of the level of input given to us by the planning staffs of Park City and Summit County so that we could get our review and approval processes under way in the new year, allowing us to bring this exciting and transformative plan to life for the 2015-16 ski season," Bill Rock, the chief operating officer and senior vice president at PCMR, said in a prepared statement released by Vail Resorts.